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New incentives for property funds

Decree covers all licensed and regulated real estate investment funds

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Dubai has introduced incentives for property investment funds to enhance the city’s status as a global real estate investment destination and attract global property investment funds. The decree covers all real estate investment funds licensed and regulated by government authorities as well as private development zones and free zones, including the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). The decree also covers all real estate in Dubai, including properties located in private development zones and free zones, excluding DIFC.

A ‘Register of Property Investment Funds’ will be established at the Dubai Land Department. The decree outlines the terms, conditions, and procedures for listing in the Register. Funds seeking to be listed in the Register should be licensed by competent government authorities including the Securities and Commodities Authority and the Dubai Financial Services Authority, DIFC’s independent regulator of financial services.

The value of real estate assets owned by the fund at the time of application for listing in the Register should be AED 180 million or above. Funds should not be suspended from trading in Dubai’s financial markets at the time of application.

The decree directs the establishment of a ‘Committee for Property Investment Funds,’ whose purpose is to identify areas and properties that funds are allowed to invest in either through full ownership or lease for a period not exceeding 99 years.

The value of properties that funds invest in should be AED 50 million or above. The properties should be listed as commercial properties and comply with Decree No. (4) of 2010. Funds are allowed to relinquish ownership of properties only after approval from the Committee.